Alembic plugin for 2012 - or alternatives?

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Old 01 January 2013   #1
Alembic plugin for 2012 - or alternatives?

I'm working here with Maya 2012 SAP and Maya 2013, both of which have the Alembic plugin which I find really useful and would be very handy on a job right now. Unfortunately my client only has the standard version of 2012 which doesn't have the Alembic plugin. (I believe they are on Mac too, if that's a factor).

Is there any way to get Alembic (even import only would work) in Maya 2012?

Failing that, is there any other way to cache a mesh when the point count is changing dynamically? I've tried regular geometry caching in Maya but it doesn't work. What did people use before Alembic for bringing in geo caches from other apps when the point count of the cached object was changing?

Old 01 January 2013   #2
AFAIK the alembic plugin is compiled against 2012 api in the SAP version.
Don't know how legal this is, but you could always copy the plugins from sap on to your client's
installation of maya. Haven't tried it myself, but i see no reason why it shouldn't work.
You might also need to copy some mel's over, but i'm sure that's not a problem.
Otherwise, Exocortex Crate is your best bet.
Old 01 January 2013   #3
This might be useless, but since Alembic is open-source there are definitely ways out there of getting what you need for 2012. We actually compiled a version for 2011 from the repository online and used it without issue:
I can't help you with actually compiling it...but maybe someone else has a version you could use. Fingers crossed.
Realflow's object .bin caches work great for changing point counts...the plugin is 'free' if you have at least one license.
Old 01 January 2013   #4
Many thanks guys. Great to have some more information on this.

Copying the plugin files is not really an option for me in any case as I have a Windows machine here so no Mac files to copy. I've dug around for other compiles but haven't found any yet. One of these days I'll get around to learning how to compile plugins but right now I don't know where to start (plus I guess compiling for a different OS adds another layer of complexity).

Interesting about the Realflow plugin, I don't have a license of it though so I can't explore that (I don't think my client does either).

Pity my client isn't on 2013 as all this would be academic then I'm getting great results with generating procedural geometry in C4D R14 with some of it's mograph tools and exporting as Alembic and importing them to Maya 2012SAP or 2013, I just can't share them with the client unfortunately.


Last edited by Horganovski : 01 January 2013 at 07:30 PM.
Old 01 January 2013   #5
Hey, what do you know. I got more specific with my searches and found this -
Compiles for Mac Maya 2011 and 2012. Should be just what's needed hopefully. Not sure what he means by 'no GUI' version but I guess my client can try out the plugin and see if it works.

Old 01 January 2013   #6
The "no gui" version sounds like what we were using for 2011. It is just to AlembicImport/AlembicExport commands without the GUI integration that is in 2013. We scrounged some GUI up from somewhere but you could just send the import command mel to your client if they are just using it to see the files. I know you know the ol' copy from script editor trick...but just for fun also give the AbcExport -h; and AbcImport -h; a run to see some of the additional flags that you can add to make alembic even more powerful in ways that aren't immediately obvious.
Glad you've had some success with your search.
Old 01 January 2013   #7
Thanks good to know.

That's a great tip on reading up on all the flags available, looks like there's lots of control there which wasn't immediately obvious to me. I'll definitely make use of that, thanks again.

Old 01 January 2013   #8
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